Monday, February 12, 2007

Cheaters Never Prosper, but They Might Get Into Law School

A little over two years ago, I was outraged when a friend took the LSAT and reported cheating by a yeshiva guy. Yesterday, I took the LSAT and can't report much better.

A cluster of yeshiva guys (I don't know which yeshiva) were sitting right by me. The one next to me spent the entire time before the test convincing his friend that he needed to cheat off of him because he just couldn't finish in time and it was his only chance for a 165. I exchanged incredulous glances with the girl sitting behind me.

Then, right before we started, the proctors caught a guy (in a yarmulka) who was posing as someone else to take the test for him. They caught him and he left and the proctors promised they would write the guy up and that he'd never be able to take the LSAT ever again. To which the cheater sitting next to me says, "What a chillul Hashem." Right before he spends the entire test cheating.

I almost didn't post this because, after all, isn't it a chillul Hashem for me to publicize these indiscretions. And I was shaken up by the fact that a guy who was so clearly a yeshiva guy would so blatantly cheat. And maybe I should have turned him in (though the proctor did see him cheating and warned him, but then she let him go). I'd like to think that most Jews don't cheat, wouldn't think of cheating. That most frum Jews do better than that. That this guy won't get into law school anyhow.

And on good days, I believe all those things (well, I don't know about cheater boy getting into law school...). I believe that this was an anomaly, that while it is easy for people to see one rotten apple and assume they're all rotten, they're wrong. That indicating this anomaly--that it is not what frum Jews actually believe--is right and important, too.

I just hope I'm not the one being naive.


At 2/13/07, 10:11 PM, Anonymous a nice guy said...

A real travesty. It's guys like these that will be the first to yell anti semitism when they get a speeding ticket. 'I have searched for the enemy, and he is me.'

At 2/14/07, 8:10 AM, Blogger almost_frei said...

Shame on them.. and I feel bad that you had to see such a travesty.
However I truly believe that 'beating the system' is quiet prevalant in the yeshiva world. It is openly spoken and joked about.

I won't even attempt to discuss the underlying causes; there are many, but as a parent I feel it is my duty to not only be an honset person, but instill those values in my children each and every day.

At 2/14/07, 9:13 AM, Blogger Deborah said...

I think almost_frei hit the nail on the head. Why yeshiva guys think they can take any action in order to beat the system--I don not know. I would venture the example set by administrators who concoct fictitious transcripts on a as needed basis contribute to the problem. The message I got from the stomach-turning smugness of the boy who I witnessed cheating on the LSATS was "If everything else on my law school application is a lie, why should this be any difference?"

(And thanks for the link ;-)

At 2/15/07, 2:02 PM, Blogger Nephtuli said...

Disgusting and horrible, but hardly surprising.

At 2/17/07, 8:42 PM, Blogger Eli7 said...

See, I think it's too easy to say "yeshiva guys are horrible, so of course they cheat." I really do think these are the exceptions, not the rule. Which doesn't make it any better.


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